the serpent swallows itself and leaves a void, considerably messed up, but not hopeless

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 321, chapter 15) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Mellors told Connie that When the last real man is killed, and they’re all tame: white, black, yellow, all colours of tame ones: then they’ll all be insane.)

‘…… And if we go on in this way, with everybody, intellectuals, artists, government, industrialists and workers all frantically killing off the last human feeling, the last bit of their intuition, the last healthy instinct; if it goes on in algebraical progression, as it is going on: then ta-tah! to the human species! Goodbye! darling! the serpent swallows itself and leaves a void, considerably messed up, but not hopeless. Very nice! When savage wild dogs bark in Wragby, and savage wild pit-ponies stamp on Tevershall pit-bank! te deum laudamus!’


What's the meaning of the blue part please? I want to understand leaves a void means leaves nothing, but it seems to be impossible, because no snake can completely swallow itself, leaving nothing. And since that it's messy that a snake swallow itself, how it is also not hopeless? And why did Lawrence compare human beings to a snake(Lawrence has mentioned serpent several times, by the way)?
So how should I understand the part please?
Thank you in advance
 
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  • morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    The ouroboros or oroboros (/ˌjʊərəˈbɒrəs, ˌjʊəroʊ-/;[2] Ancient Greek: οὐροβόρος ὄφις "tail-devouring snake") is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.
    The ouroboros often symbolizes self-reflexivity, introspection, or cyclicality,[3] especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things such as the phoenix which operate in cycles that begin anew as soon as they end.
    Source: en.wikipedia.org

    I assume that it would not be "hopeless" as there would be a new beginning.

    Also, earlier in the text. . .
    “Quite nice! To contemplate the extermination of the human species and the long pause that follows before some other species crops up, it calms you more than anything else."
    Source: Lady Chatterley's Lover
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you very much. It's really useful for me. Now I understand leaves a void as: the snake dies after it eats itself, and the void is the same as the pause in Quite nice! To contemplate the extermination of the human species and the long pause that follows before some other species crops up, it calms you more than anything else.
    And it's not hopeless, because the snake will have a rebirth after the death(just like a phoenix have a rebirth after burning itself.

    Is that right?
     
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